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Latest Photos From Preseason Training Sessions

2:11 pm, Monday, July 4th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 154 Comments

Here are some of the photos from Newcastle’s preseason training sessions which started on Friday and continued into Saturday.

The new training gear looks very good.

siem de jong ayoze perez

Siem de Jong – will he be sold this summer
Ayoze Perez wiping his nose in background

gini wijnaldum

Gini Wijnaldum – does he still want to leave?

simon smith karl darlow tim krul

Goalkeeping coach Simon Smith with Karl Darlow and Tim Krul

paul dummett lascelles

Paul Dummett dribbles with ball watched by Jamaal Lascelles
That’s new coach Mikel Antia in the background 

rafa benitez rolando aarons jamie sterry

Rafa Benitez with youngsters Rolando Aarons and Jamie Sterry

ritchie anita

New boy Matt Ritchie and Vurnon Anita
That’s Rafa on the right

matz sels87

New Belgian goalkeeper Matz Sels

dwight gayle jamies sterry

New boy Dwight Gayle and Jamie Sterry

matt rihchie florian thauvin

That’s new boy Matt Richie and returning Florian Thauvin

tim krul physiotherapist derek wright

Tim Krul with veteran physiotherapist Derek Wright

matt ritchie controls ball

New boy Matt Richie shows his skills to Mitrovic and Colback

Tags: Coaching · Newcastle News · Other News · Pre-season · Training Ground

154 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Spoof // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    Wow, pictures of players training, how interesting, yawn yawn yawn !

  • 2 Spoof // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    Its like looking at other peoples holiday photo’s, be honest does anyone really give a shit about them ?

  • 3 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    No, they aren’t renewing his contract. It is no surprise having seen some of the technical reports he and his staff provide to the FAM Executive Committee after there games. His results have been no worse than the last few, but he isn’t a coach/manager. His previous experience was a handful of games with the U17 national side several years ago. Never coached or managed since, but was a former popular player.

    Talk is it will go to an expat, but I’m not convinced they have the budget to do it. Not to mention that the Malawi national team manager is actually given a contract through government so will most now only get 12 month deals as the government won’t sack them, they just move them to a different role within the civil service, reducing the budget available for the next manager.

    Still, it won’t get better until they introduce better regulated and more formal youth structures.

  • 4 Spoof // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    They bore me to tears !!!!!!!

  • 5 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    Excited for next season. I think looking at Rafas career, some things are certaintys.
    1) We will play 4-2-3-1. Hes played it at every club hes been at and potentially invented it, if not perfected it at Valencia. We also have the personnel to implement this system well.
    2) Sels will be #1. The fee paid, the options he had, the season he had last year. No way he comes to the championship unless hes been told he starts first choice.
    3) Ritchie and Gayle will be in the starting line up. Again, like Sels, i don’t think they drop a division not to start. Rafa loves a mobile striker and he loves inverted inside forwards.
    4) The defence will be far more organised than in the last 20 years! Already saw this towards the end of the season.
    5) The days of players wandering around aimlessly with no effort on the pitch will be gone!

  • 6 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    @Lilongwe – you not fancy applying yourself? 🙂
    It surprises me places like Malawi haven’t cottoned on to the goldmine that is developing young footballers. DR Congo seemed to have worked it out and have developed some good players with limited budget, similarly, Zambia have done it well too.

  • 7 G // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    @5, apart from your point 1, I hope they are all accurate. The only reason I say your point 1 is a sticky point is teams that can only play 1 formation tend to get sussed fast. See Steve McLarens Derby for evidence! Teams need to adapt and evolve as a season goes out, whilst it is better to make an opposition team react to you, rather than you reacting to them, playing a predictable style or formation is not a good way of obtaining results.

  • 8 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    Ha, wouldn’t want the national team job. Happy helping out and advising the FA and youth football associations on youth development, but I have little interest in the adults set up, at least for another few years.

    DRC have a couple of clubs which are incredibly wealthy. One of their top academies is far away from their parent club, but the academy itself has a private runway and jet to transport people to and from. Plus many disappear to Europe at an early age. Coincidentally, I actually have two refugees from DRC coming in on trial from Friday for a month. One is an 11year old left footed forward, and is technically excellent, with a little bit of a nasty streak. Not as convinced about the other who is a central defender, but I feel like it is best to bring two in so they have each other given the very different environment they are joining.

    Zambia have done okay, but I wouldn’t look to them as a working model.

  • 9 Rotonda heights // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    Why is derek wright still here? thought we had some new physio guys in now.

  • 10 Back Door Man // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    Spot on Lilongwe Geordie @ 58 in previous thread.

    The reason I call him Manuel haven’t changed since the last time the issue was raised a month ago, and I quote:

    “… many here were calling him Manuel when he first came and well into the ‘last ten game period’ … yep, probably stereotyping him. 

    I chose to continue calling him that out an appreciation for the position he’s in, namely – the good, well-loved fella struggling against an ogre of a boss.”

    So, when all around me on here quit using hypocoristic forms of branding for various players and staff I might join them in dropping nicknames and pet names.  Just focus on the meaning of the previous paragraph above folks!

  • 11 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    @G I agree, but think the 4-2-3-1 is an exception to the rule as in game it has the potential to become 4-5-1, 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 without changing personnel depending on what the match requires. Its really adaptable. Its a really good shape to start with for the opening 30 mins to feel out the game. Benitez’ Valencia did it excellently pivoting between 4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1 to great affect. At Napoli he went the other way and went between 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3, occasionally going 4-2-4 and attacking non stop.
    Even in our final 10 games benitez did this, we were solid 4-2-3-1 for the first half and then throughout the second half we would transition into other shapes. This requires a lot of tactical work on the training ground though.
    The problem with Newcastle using the formation before has been that the manager hasn’t used the transitions or in game management, and its an awful formation if you use it statically with no fluidity in the way that pardew used to use it. Im also unsure how much tactical preparation the players did before? not too much would be my guess.
    I think 4231 with a very tactically astute manager can a great base to begin each game. Requires a manager like benitez who plays football like it is chess though rather than a manager like pardew who plays like its football manager on holiday mode

  • 12 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    Many on here were calling him Manuel?? I don’t remember that bit.

  • 13 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:47 PM

    We heard from the horses mouth that Pardew spent the most time working on defence, considering we consistently had the worst GD outside of the bottom three year in year out it would explain how poor we’ve been.

  • 14 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:47 PM

    @Lilongwe – didn’t realise that DR Congo had that backing. My knowledge of African football is limited to a passing interest In south African football due to time spent there. One thing I think is near impossible is keeping any player with talent in lesser funded African countries long enough to develop. The academies in S.A will snap up everything they can and often like premier league clubs will leave them by the wayside at 18, if not European clubs tend to snap them up too early meaning the nations youth set ups struggle to flourish due to lack of quality and continuity.
    The corruption and lack of organisation doesn’t help either

  • 15 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    @jail – id take a guess that the preparation pardew does is responsible for the downfall he experiences at all his clubs after an initial period of success. From all the interviews I’ve seen of him, he never strikes me as a thinker or great philosophiser of the actual game. I don’t doubt he is into motivation, and psychology but as far as actually studying the game, I think he is arrogant enough to think his one trick of sitting deep and attacking with pace will win every game

  • 16 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    It is completely illegal for any club or academy to sign a player from outside of their borders. For us, the 2 boys are refugees in a camp in Malawi, and therefore we are able to bring them in. If they were in a different country we would be guilty of player trafficking under FIFA rules.

    Obviously lots of people skirt these rules, and use the lax formal structures to do this. It is more likely that it would happen with a player leaving Africa for Asia or Europe though, then moving to another club on the African continent.

    Other organisations get around it (Right to Dream in Ghana for example) by having an international school and offering boys education scholarships. This does cause issues later on if they try to move them on for football purposes though.

  • 17 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    @Lilongwe – ahh got ya, it sounds very complex but then the whole continent has a delightful way of making everything complex!

  • 18 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    That should say under the age of 18 in Africa. Europe is a different ball game due to the open borders. It is why so many end up with dual nationality when coming to Europe at an early age, as if they can also claim nationality in another country then they can move their freely.

    The other way clubs get round it (and something we have been approached by a Premier league club about regarding a player of ours) is the club offers a parent a job, and the kid moves as well. Then the club can approach the kid as he is already in country.

  • 19 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:01 PM

    @Lilongwe – the parent job bit is what I figured was common.
    Too bad in Newcastles case, a job at Sports Direct shirebrook probably has a lower life quality than staying in even the worser parts of central Africa!

  • 20 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    We flat out turned down the Premier league club. But it was nice to know of interest, and a positive for the ability of the boys and the work we are doing.

  • 21 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    @Lilongwe – Must be very rewarding work! Always good to know its not going unnoticed aswell

  • 22 NUFCPaul // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    Spoof – if you’re so bored by pictures of training sessions then why the hell did you click on the story? And even worse than that, leave a message to whine about it?

    You’re like those people who click on newspaper stories about celebrities and leave a comment saying ‘Who is this? I’ve never heard of them. Why is there a story about them?’ Makes me want to shout ‘So why the hell did you click on it you moron!’

  • 23 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:13 PM

    Putting them all onto private school scholarships as of next academic year as well – haven’t told the kids that yet, but will be a huge step up in quality of education for them. They are a great bunch mind, and work very hard with the opportunity they have been given. It makes my job much easier and far more enjoyable!

  • 24 jayphoto // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:24 PM

    @Lilongwe – all sounds amazing for them! You best be giving the toon a heads up if the next George weah comes through 🙂

  • 25 martoon // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    Spoof – I think it is quite interesting to see the training pictures for the simple fact we can see who is there. There was some doubt if Thauvin would come back and Gini was supposed to be negotiating his transfer but we can see they are actually both there.

  • 26 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    Ha, I’d love to see one of them at NUFC! Maybe one day!

  • 27 welshgeordie9 // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:34 PM



    Enjoyed reading that comment.

  • 28 welshgeordie9 // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    Chris Evans has quit Top Gear, wow i honestly didn’t see that coming, not.

    And on that bombshell its goodnight.

    Ha ha ha

  • 29 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    I see Thauvin is back in training. What townsend was to us in the premiership, Thauvin can be for us in the championship.

  • 30 welshgeordie9 // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:42 PM


    Might work, you never know although i can’t see him staying.

  • 31 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:45 PM


    I think we should keep him for 1 season if we can. Then flog him off before we get back to the premiership. Only if he’s willing to stay for that season.
    He maybe not good enough for the premiership, but he’d destroy the championship

  • 32 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:47 PM

    Possibly, he would have to really apply himself, and personally I just don’t think he is happy enough here to really fight to salvage his career here. I think all are probably better off with him moving for a reasonable fee.

    Rumours on Gini seem to have quietened significantly. Same with Janmaat. Sissoko rumours are still bubbling away, and I do still expect him to leave pretty quickly after his time at the Euros is over. I’d be a little surprised if there wasn’t already something in the pipeline on that front.

  • 33 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:48 PM

    Would love to just see Thauvin stick with us and be a success it would also mean we could spend funds getting players in other positions rather than hunting for a winger !

    He did look half decent in a few games when he came on as a sub and put in some lovely crosses for Mitrovic but he always looked lost when starting a game maybe the break neck speed that games start at caught him out?

    If Benitez likes him then he could develop him properly!

  • 34 Mister Tuff // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:50 PM

    Jib Jibberish – you need to check out todays’ picture specials – official site best.
    Loads of pics with Rafa – showing his initials on his sports gear.
    I know you will be disappointed as yesterday you said he was not the man to need his initials on his gear. Erm wrong.
    You really do not need to comment on every mortal thing.

  • 35 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 3:52 PM

    From what I recall of his time in France, Thauvin was often most effective playing as a left footed right winger. Benitez does seem to like these types, but we have just bought Ritchie who could fill that role.

    I’m not convinced where he would fit based on his effort and work rate when I’ve watched him. Although Bielsa sees something in him, and he normally only wants players who put a shift in and work for the team, so maybe there is more.

  • 36 AncientC // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:04 PM

    “Ayoze Perez wiping his nose in background”

    Nice work on the photo captions.

  • 37 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:05 PM

    I’d also like to see Riverie become a good Championship striker as well as it would bring a strength in depth, it’s just that if you can’t hit a barn door in the PL you won’t be able to hit one in the Championship. I know people will say you get more time on the ball etc but every time I’ve seen him he’s looked woeful.

  • 38 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:08 PM

    Well the flag lads have raised their 3K target, I think the club have taken the lads word for it that our portly owner won’t be mentioned on any of them.

  • 39 iKeyaGaming // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:10 PM

    The training gear is nice, I might have to get one of those t-shirts.

  • 40 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:15 PM

    It is such a strange feeling actually going into the start of a season with a purpose.

  • 41 Tsunki // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:22 PM

    Yes Ed, leave the photo captions to the expert. Me. 🙂

  • 42 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:22 PM

    Mister Tuff // Jul 2, 2016 at 3:11 PM
    Like the way Rafa does not have his initials on his top but on his shorts. Clearly an initials on the shorts man.

    A good memory is a great thing 😀

  • 43 Tsunki // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:25 PM

    For example, instead of “ayoze Perez in background….” etc –

    “Siem De Jong wonders if anyone heard him let rip as Ayoze Perez, who had his mouth open, fights back nausea”

  • 44 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    Could bloggers please clean up after eating sandwiches and burgers to avoid encouraging
    Mr Tuff

  • 45 Mister Tuff // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:42 PM

    Jib – you obviously do not do irony. Yesterday I was pointing out by irony the stupidity of your original post. Too dim. I could not even extend this to nice but dim.
    The practicalities of washing and arranging kit in a large sports organisation, including the boss , is facilitated by having the players and boss’s kit bearing their initals. After laundry – it is easy thereafter for the kit man to sort out everyones own personal gear.
    Unless of course, you think they wash the boss’s kit separately.

  • 46 Mister Tuff // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:43 PM


  • 47 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    wriggle wriggle

  • 48 Mister Tuff // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    Jib Jibberish in training to fight all comers.

  • 49 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:52 PM

    Mr Tuff
    Do you want to report this bunch of racists to the police ?

  • 50 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 4:55 PM

    I thought that was Jack Root!

  • 51 Mister Tuff // Jul 4, 2016 at 5:07 PM

    Jail correct – it was originally the Master Multiple – but I couldn’t be arsed to find a pic of another keyboard warrior/weakling type. They’re really all the same – big gobs- big ego – and cannot back up their bravado in the real world.

  • 52 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 5:07 PM

    I see Pepe is an injury doubt for Wdnesday night against Wales.
    Nothing to do with his Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale knowing his game inside out and tearing him a new one at the Stade des Lumières of course .

  • 53 Mister Tuff // Jul 4, 2016 at 5:15 PM

    Jib Jibberish – hows that team of yours getting on you know Brazil United.
    F*****g Brazil United – what a plonka.

    Aye you’ve obviously got good football antecedents.

  • 54 bettyswallocks // Jul 4, 2016 at 5:33 PM

    Welshie and his bird relaxing before the Portugal match.

  • 55 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 5:48 PM

    Benitez has just given an interview to Italian Fox Sports – called “Rafa’s version” – mainly about Real Madrid

    He is remarkably not bitter – and pretty fair in his assesment of that time .

    His closing sentence is
    “Estoy en un proyecto ilusionante”

    I am now in a really exciting project

    That’s us boys – NUFC

  • 56 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:00 PM,216124

    We offered €13 million for Lyon’s Clement Grenier in January 2014 which was disdainfully rejected.
    After 2 bad seasons his price is now between 5/7 million

    Dodged a bullet there!

    There are 3 teams in for him now.
    Sunderland, Spartak Moscow and Palermo

    Ha ha ha

  • 57 welshgeordie9 // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:01 PM


    Us Welsh are relaxing, waiting for the semi final, you lot on the other hand are trying to sort out who’s going to be your next manager, why because the players are so arrogant thinking it will be a walkover who ever you play, that’s why you’ve been shite, carry on with the insults.

  • 58 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    When did mens singles turn into gentlemans singles.

  • 59 bettyswallocks // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:15 PM

    Mister Tuff and

  • 60 bettyswallocks // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:15 PM

    Mister Tuff and Jib.

  • 61 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:23 PM

    Swallocks 😀

  • 62 Mister Tuff // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    A good caning or a damn good thrashing -all that is needed to keep cads and bounders in place.
    My card :-

  • 63 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    Rafa on SSN now saying that he is working on more signings and very coy about outgoings.

  • 64 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:27 PM

    Yeah yeah Mr Tuff
    I know you find footy stuff boring.
    Go and sit in the corner and have another bag of crisps .

  • 65 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:30 PM

    Have you seen the expression on his face?
    Mr Tuff definitely has an anal fixation.

  • 66 Nufc-83 // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:35 PM

    Having read back a few posts and looked over the comments I would say:

    1) I think it’s very harsh on de Jong who would be a class act for us even in the prem IMO to call him crocked, made of glass etc. The injuries he has had are not re-occurring but more freak injuries such as the lung and eye problems. Without me looking if his record was as bad at Ajax then maybe we should sell but if not then I would give the lad a break.

    2) On Rivière I think he does have good assets and showed some promise in terms of his all round play but as a striker he needs to hit the back of the net and he is not good enough in front of goal. I can’t see him ahead of gayle mitro Perez or Arma so he should be sold if possible.

    3) Some comments about Jaanmatt being poor etc. Jaanmat was one of our best players until about half way through last season when his form dropped. Before that he was constantly winning mom and being talked about as future captain. He won’t stay but if he did he would be the best rb in the league by a country mile. His positioning is not bad at all it was more the team not covering correctly when he went forward.

  • 67 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    What’s he said about signings Jib

  • 68 bettyswallocks // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    Jib……. He is obviously a strict disciplinarian and seems to like the idea of administering a good thrashing.

  • 69 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    He’s not going anywhere if the right offer doesn’t come in. If those three players thought that getting us relegated was an easy way out then they’ve dropped a bit of a bollok.

  • 70 Mister Tuff // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    I much prefer the image on my card – a gentleman about to give a local oaf a damn good thrashing –
    Queensbury Rules of course.

  • 71 Nufc-83 // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:47 PM

    Jail would be very happy if no offer came in and we kept him but I can’t see it myself the same goes for gini and sissokho they will all be gone.

  • 72 carl // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:48 PM

    What an odd pair Tuff and Jail are! It’s either constant boring repetition or bizarre unrelated non football insults and abuse.
    The earlier exchanges between Lilongwe and jayphoto were interesting and informative. Then suddenly a brick wall of childish drivel from two senior bloggers.
    First time on today but I’ll call it a day.

  • 73 welshgeordie9 // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:49 PM

    Soccer Sauce – ?@soccer_sauce

    Newcastle have made bid in the region of £5m + significant add ons for Jonny Castro of Celta Vigo. Ball in Celta Vigo’s court #NUFC
    10:41 am – 4 Jul 2016

    Never heard of him, is he any good.

  • 74 Nufc-83 // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:50 PM

    Is that the guy from dirty dancing?

  • 75 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    The only front three Riverie might get in to.
    The only

  • 76 Nufc-83 // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:54 PM


  • 77 welshgeordie9 // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:55 PM

    That’s Johnny Castle.

  • 78 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:58 PM

    Where on earth did that come from, where have I posted a childish insult. Oh, the Jack Root comment touched a nerve did it. Don’t sèe you admonishing Jib either mind but then again you wouldn’t would you Ian, Jib is on your quality poster list.

  • 79 Nufc-83 // Jul 4, 2016 at 6:58 PM

    Just looked at Castro an he looks to be a left back who is pretty rapid. Would defo take him

  • 80 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    Ooooh welshie me auld mucka, he’s a LB who can play anywhere across the back three. Rafa means business, please be true.

  • 81 carl // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    Reading back It was more Tuff than you. But you are guilty by association. Just ask yourself wouldn’t you be acutely embarrassed if your dad behaved like him. Not sure how old you are but Tuff is a senior pensioner. It’s just not healthy and its obsessive.
    Just my opinion sorry I missed the Jack Root reference.

  • 82 bettyswallocks // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:11 PM

    Mister Tuff……. Have you any suggestions for dealing with BandB when she becomes difficult and temperamental?

  • 83 GEORDIE69 // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:12 PM

    WelshGeordie –

    Jonny Castro is a Spanish U21 right back that is linked with bigger clubs than us!

  • 84 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:13 PM

    Give it up, more Tuff than me???, I’ve been on talking football all day and haven’t insulted anyone, Jib and Tuff winding each other up and you choose to bring me in instead. Admit it, the Jack Root comment annoyed you, just another bit of proof, if anymore is actually needed that you, Ian, Jack Root, Sack Llambias are all one and the same.

  • 85 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:16 PM

    Let’s hope Rafa can persuade this guy to come here, he just signed a new deal in January so Cellardyke Vigo are obviously keen on him, just depends on how much they need the money.

  • 86 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:18 PM

    Welshie me auld mucka,
    Is that soccer sauce reliable.

  • 87 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:19 PM


  • 88 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:19 PM

    Yeah, Castro is a fairly quick and versatile full back. Seen him play on both flanks – never centrally, but that doesn’t mean he can’t Highly rated, and has attracted interest. The add ons would have to be very significant, can’t see it myself, but would be a very interesting signing for us. From the odd game I’ve seen would probably need a lengthy settling/adjustment period where he is given a lot of leeway by fans.

  • 89 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:20 PM

    If we could pinch one of Spains up and coming full backs from under the noses of bigger teams and also convince him to play in the championship for the season that would be amazing !!!

    Teams like Celta Vigo will probably want to make our moves public to encourage a bidding war

  • 90 carl // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:23 PM

    I rest my case you’re heavy weather.

  • 91 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:23 PM

    A 22 year old utility full – back right or left.

  • 92 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:24 PM

    I think it’s a long shot mind, he was just given a four and a half year deal in January.

  • 93 welshgeordie9 // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:27 PM


    I think they reliable, did you it last season for some of the signings and they were right with them, hopefully we will find out soon.

  • 94 welshgeordie9 // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:27 PM

    Use it.

  • 95 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:29 PM

    If they brought in a specialist LB that would leave just another CB to be added with Dummet in the pool to stake his claim as one of the main CB’s. That would leave Haidara as LB cover though?

  • 96 Mister Tuff // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:30 PM

    carl/Ian et al good non footballing post about non footballing posts.

  • 97 bettyswallocks // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:34 PM

    Welshie……. He looks a canny player with a normal sized head.

  • 98 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:37 PM

    I haven’t seen much of this guy, but what I have lends me to think he would need time to adjust, and would not be a great automatic first choice. He has ability, and would be a great signing, but I think Dummet would still be ahead as a left back if we signed him, certainly defensively. Given a year playing games here and there, he has the potential to cement himself as a comfortable first choice at Prem level.

    I’m not convinced he would move here though, and ‘significant add ons’ is very vague. Soccer Sauce do get stuff right, but they aren’t any better than most twitter sources.

  • 99 Mister Tuff // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:39 PM

    betty – we should always allow the ladies a bit more latitude. Said from a gentleman perspective – and certainly not treat the ladies poorly like I suspect some of the oafs on here do.
    Manners and gallantry my good man.

  • 100 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:47 PM

    We also have Gideon Adu Peprah and Liam Gibson as left backs coming through. Haven’t seen enough of either, but both seem to be well thought of. Haidara isn’t fit enough often enough to be a reliable back up or first choice. I think unless we sign someone who is first team ready at left back, then Dummett keeps that slot.

  • 101 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:49 PM

    There were rumours Leicester were interested in Adu Peprah during the season. Not heard or read anything since though.

  • 102 bettyswallocks // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:50 PM

    Mister Tuff ……… Very diplomatically answered.

  • 103 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:52 PM

    Tbh I don’t mind if Dummet is the LB for another year but then that would leave us very short at CB, Sterry has had little first team football and no one seems to what’s happening with Curtis Good. I definitely think we’ll bring a CB in.

  • 104 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    Sterry is a right back primarily, if we are to move a kid to centre back, I’d prefer Mbabu. I think we need 1 centre back plus Dummet, which means a left back (maybe 2) and a right back. Or 2 centre backs and a player like Castro who is capable on both flanks as cover with Mbabu, Sterry, Gibson and Peprah there if needed or if they improve sufficiently to make whichever side their own.

  • 105 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 7:57 PM

    2 of the four young full backs should be out on loan in my opinion. Probably Sterry and either left back, with Mbabu there pushing for a chance and acting as cover across the back 4.

  • 106 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:04 PM

    There you go. There was a bit of confusion as there was an article saying Sterry was in Mclaren sights now that Williamson was gone suggesting he was a CB, the club website have him as a right sided defender and it’s been mentioned that he’s a RB, so that leaves us even less options, I think 100% we’ll bring one in.

  • 107 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:05 PM

    I think Good is finished, at least here. Once he is fit we should allow him to talk to any club interested. We have a duty of care to him until he is fit though, and who knows when that will be.

  • 108 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:09 PM

    Even if Sterry was a centre half we need at least one. From memory I can’t remember Sterry ever playing as a centre half. Right back, and occasionally right midfield, but not a centre half. He may have more recently, but I would be surprised if he had unless in a situation where there was no other option.

  • 109 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:13 PM

    Cameron and Gillesphey are probably the centre halves closest to the first team after Satka having a disappointing year last season.

  • 110 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:24 PM

    Would anyone take David Wheater? An experienced centre half, from the North East and available on a free after leaving Bolton for club financial reasons. Played nearly 30 games last year in the Championship, and for free would offer good experienced cover alongside another centre back signing to give us a solid 4 plus Dummet and Mbabu/another youngster if needed.

  • 111 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:26 PM

    It is so refreshing knowing Rafa has the power at the club to put everything right and his planning is by all accounts meticulous. I’ve no doubt that McCardew knew what was wrong with club and what needed addressing but were just happy to be in a PL job and rode their luck.

  • 112 Nufc-83 // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:28 PM

    Lilo I think that’s a good shout as he’s wouldn’t mind sitting on the bench behind lascelles and Mbemba but provide experience when needed. Have not seen him play for a long while though

  • 113 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    I posted this the other day or similar. Carr and Charnley having taken over two years to assemble a Championship squad were very short sighted in selling Mike Williamson considering we were heading to the Championship very soon after.
    He would have been ideal and would have probably signed a one year extension. Probably my favourite player of the Ashley regime.

  • 114 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    NUFC 83,
    He was a youth international that probably needed to move earlier in his career to really kick on, but 105 Prem appearances behind him, plus nearly another 150 in Championship and Cups would make him a very good squad replacement for Willo at little outlay. Given his roots, he would likely jump at the chance.

    He isn’t going to excite fans, and isn’t long term signing, but a pragmatic signing for the position we currently find ourselves in.

  • 115 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:39 PM

    He sounds ideal actually, but would he take a one year deal. You use Twitter, give Rafa a shout.

  • 116 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    Yeah, Rafa is making a difference in terms of how the club is run, which is fantastic. The signings made do demonstrate a deviation from previous years, as a posed to last summer when many said we had changed policy yet the signings were very much similar – even the January signings were watched long term.

    Sels and Ritchie seem like a total change, Gayle not so much, he was linked previously, but coupled with the other two it does feel like there is change happening, rather than just being told change is happening.

    I’m still wary of Rafa having too much control, no manager ever gets that until they have really earned it. I doubt Carr had much to do with Willo leaving, and most fans prior to his departure were wanting rid. Amazing how opinions change when things actually happen – not accusing you, I know and remember you always stuck up for Willo as what he was.

    As for the squad assembled, I think it is good enough for the Prem, if it wasn’t I doubt we would be anywhere near as clear favourites for automatic promotion as we have been since going down. Mismanaged, disillusioned, yes. Lacking the talent that Sunderland’s, Bournemouth’s, West Brom’s etc squads had? Not for me. Attitude, application, management were the difference. Not the ability of the squad assembled.

  • 117 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    I try not to use twitter other than for work purposes nowadays, or to catch up on stories in the news. IN my younger days I gave Pele a load of crap, which could come back to haunt me in my current role at some point, so far more guarded and less willing to use it now.

    Still, Pele should have signed my Euro 96 final programme, given I was sat in the seat behind him, asked politely and was a 13 year old kid.

  • 118 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:55 PM

    Aaron Hughes, Peter Ramage and David Edgar all available on a free as well. I’d take Aaron Hughes, even at 36.Not sure he is still up to it, but sentiment plays a large part in my views on him. One of the most underrated defenders of his era. Scandalous what he was allowed to leave NUFC for.

  • 119 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:56 PM

    Slow night tonight by the looks of things, if I had anything better to do tonight I’d probably stop refreshing.

  • 120 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 8:58 PM

    What I mean by assembling a Championship squad was not the ability of the players as we have some very good ones, but like you said the attitude around the whole place was destined to end up where we are. They thought they had it sussed that year we looked nailed on to finish tenth and just clung on to it on the last game of the season, they didn’t reckon on Pardew walking away, we would have finished around 10/15 if he had of stayed on so it would have continued.

  • 121 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:09 PM

    That isn’t assembling a Championship squad, that is the environment they find themselves in. There was certainly a huge lack of leadership, from the manager/head coach through to the players. I doubt Pardew would have finished any better than Carver did in the season he left. Would we have stayed up last season with Pardew rather than McClaren? I think we would have.

    I think McClaren was given a bum deal, more change through the squad was needed, and as with Pardew, he was sold short. I don’t blame Carr or Charnley though, both are working to a remit set above them.

    People who shouldn’t have had so much power became too influential, and that is where I have concerns on how much poet Rafa is afforded. I’m fine with Charnley staying on the board, he knows the club and business inside out, regardless of how he is viewed by fans. But Moncur probably shouldn’t be there, and Carr definitely shouldn’t. I don’t know of any other club with a scout on the board.

    Once we get defenders in, I’d like to see the board restructured with competent people in, who are capable and knowledgeable enough to be able to have checks and balances on Rafa’s authority.

  • 122 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:10 PM

    poet??? how much power Rafa is afforded.

  • 123 Bobbybee // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:12 PM

    I can’t see Rafa looking at any has beens in his recruitment drive. When he took the job on, he said he wanted us in the top six in three years, challenging for a CL spot. I think people need to get out of their heads what has gone before and forget about us shopping in poundland any more. This project is for real. You don’t get to the top by signing the likes of Wheater, with respect to the lads career. He said himself, if we can’t get the best – which will be difficult whilst in the Championship – we’ll identify players we can improve with better coaching. That hardly sounds like Wheater type players. His signings so far reflect his stance. Best keeper in Belgium by all accounts and two PL players. I understand we’re used to buying average, but that was then and this is now. He’s not going to ‘make do’, he’s looking to next season and the PL on beyond. He’s unlikely to bother with Championship players unless they’ve proved themselves higher – as in Ritchie and Gayle. Think bigger lads, because Rafa will be. 😉

  • 124 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:15 PM

    Ideally the board would have been restructured during the interim. It wasn’t, so probably unlikely it will be now, but I do think the board is unfit for purpose. Charnley retained with 3 other competent people brought in key areas.

    Did we ever replace John Irving as Financial Director? His deputy left at the same time as well, but there was no mention of a replacement. Charnley is essentially doing most functional roles of a board, and has been since the implementation of the ‘Football Board’.

  • 125 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:18 PM

    Do we still have a board, surely Moncur and Carr aren’t part of the same set up, I’ve not heard any mention on Rafa being part of it, I’ve always suspected that just Ashley was the board anyway. I’d much rather Rafa be the poet than how it was before though.

  • 126 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:23 PM

    It’s not about recruiting has beens as a penny pinching exercise but as a realistic short term option, we unfortunately can’t attract the players Soton, What Hands and Everton will at the moment so if we can get players to get us through this interim period without having lesser players sign up long term then so be it

  • 127 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    Wheater was a good Prem centre half for Boro in the Prem.

    Has Gayle proved himself? Very debatable. I think he has something to offer, and think he will do well in the Championship, but a team challenging for Champions league? Can’t see it.

    Best keeper in Belgium is a great thing for the lad, but most of Belgium’s top players leave the country in their teens. I don’t want to do a disservice to the lad, I haven’t ever really watched him. I am looking forward to having a keeper who is a more complete player mind.

    Ritchie excites me, I think he is a big step up on Townsend, and I’m very happy with how that panned out.

    Wheater has played a large part of his career in the Prem, and as an experienced back up who would be happy as back up he would be a good signing. Free, not huge wages, and if he does a decent job, probably fairly easy to move on next summer when we are (hopefully) a perm side and can bring in a higher calibre.

  • 128 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:26 PM

    I’m sure I read that Carr was still on the board with Charnley. I think they name checked Moncur as well, although less sure on that. Didn’t see mention of Rafa being on it.

  • 129 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:28 PM

    Ffs W Ham!!!

  • 130 Jail for Ashley // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:35 PM

    And Bobbybee must you really have to sign off every post with that annoying wink, you and j?sper would have got on famously!

  • 131 Bobbybee // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    Jail, i get that and so does Rafa, but it was him who said exactly that. We can’t compete with those clubs, but we can recruit players he can improve with his coaching. Gayle isn’t exactly top notch striker, but clearly Rafa feels he can make him into one. That’s the sort of player I believe he’s looking for – decent, hard working players he can work his magic on. We don’t need to make do mate, money’s there and more to come when Sissoko etc cash in their chips. I think he’s picking players he can have ready to give the PL a good go even before we spend next summer. He can’t waste this season just getting promoted, he needs to have the basis of a PL side with just a few quality additions. He won’t want to let the PL get so far ahead it’ll take time to catch up. Think about his plan for the future and this is imo the best way to do it. 😉 Exciting times lie ahead.

  • 132 jimmysmith // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    Is Curtis Good back in training? Fitness will play a part in how many more we bring in. If Good can prove his fitness, he will surely be very much in contention. Collo might be difficult to replace, and so might even stay, though I doubt it, but if you went with Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett and Good, there’s a lack of experience in a key position, so an old head would be great, and so Arbeloa a perfect fit because he can play anywhere along the back line. Mbabu can play either side but is right footed, so to me if Good is fit, we only really need one quality defensive addition, either at CB, or LB. As things stand I don’t think we lack numbers. Last year we probably had a few too many, this year we have the same number.

  • 133 Bobbybee // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:42 PM

    Jail, people on here are so touchy, they tend to think you’re having a go all the time. Not everybody gets my humour either, without having to explain it. Goes right over their heads. Too sensitive. My smiley face is assure no offence is intended. Maybe I’ll remove it when you change that daft moniker of yours! 😉

  • 134 jimmysmith // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:45 PM

    I really do think the problem last year was confidence, attitude and leadership both on and off the pitch. The group is very talented, as Klopp said, “no one knows why Newcastle are down there”. Rafa will surely sort that out, and playing at a lower level, in front of full houses and with our tails up as you’d fully expect, really does justify the very short odds on an immediate return.

  • 135 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    I think the basis of a Prem squad is in place, but that doesn’t mean the odd experienced Championship head in key positions wouldn’t go amiss. Could we bring in a better centre half than Wheater this summer? Probably, in fact without question. Whether they would bring the experience and be good value and willing not to be a starter is debatable.

    I think we need a youngish centre half who knows the division, but can improve and develop, plus a more experienced figure. Wheater would be the latter, and essentially a fourth choice but would offer something different.

    Can Arbeloa play any role in the back 4? I’ve seen that aid a number of times on here, but I can’t ever remember him playing anything other than a full back. Again, a good experienced signing, I’ve seen mention of a three year del for him which, at 33, makes me think he will be doing his coaching badges whilst here and working with the kids. That makes it more attractive for me.

    On Good, I don’t think he is fit yet, but I think it is time for him to move on. I’m not sure we should be looking at any of those coming through currently as centre halves other than possibly an attempt to convert Mbabu into one.

  • 136 Bobbybee // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:52 PM

    Lil, my whole point is that Gayle’s not the best, but clearly Rafa sees something in him he believes better coaching can improve. Improve him whilst we win the league, then probably sell him – but at a profit because he’s improved that much. Ritchie is already ready. Why by those players then buy somebody passed it. It makes no sense. I think he’ll stick to his guns and bring in players he can improve. He might bring in one old head, but I honestly can’t see him going down that avenue. He said three years so no time to waste at all.

  • 137 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:52 PM

    Smileys annoy me, not sure why, maybe I’m just a miserable old get before my time. They are everywhere nowadays though, so I’ve had to make my peace with people using them!!

    Yeah, I agree with that. There is definite talent in the squad. I think that certain players are accountable for the attitude and atmosphere within the squad, which I think is where our thoughts differ on certain players. The players should take this division apart, based on ability alone, but then, we should have stayed up on that basis as well.

  • 138 jimmysmith // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:54 PM

    Yeah, it’s important not to forget that should we go straight back up we will then be better placed to attract better players. If I had responsibility for recruitment I’d certainly be looking at what we currently have first, to get us through this season, with a view to another active pre season in the transfer market next, to compete with a genuine epl group.

  • 139 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 9:56 PM

    We could sell Wheater at a profit after a year. I don’t think he has been bypassed, he left due to Bolton’s financial troubles, not because he wasn’t an important player.

    I think this season we need a mix. I only suggested Wheater as I was flicking through a list of centre halves that were available. He would be a like for like replacement for Willo. Solid, dependable, happy as a squad player but reliable enough to do the job asked of him. Of course we could aim higher, but Wheater for a year would enable us (hopefully) to aim higher again next year.

  • 140 Bobbybee // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    Lil, got to go now – family calls, which is a shame, i enjoy our exchanges. It’ll be interesting to see which way he goes. One old head won’t go amiss, but the majority will, imo, be younger – 25ish – with potential others might not even see. Still have to see who goes yet. Wouldn’t like to be Sissoko’s agents trying to convince Rafa to allow them to breach a legal contract, other than at the price he wants. Just his gaze can cut people in half like a laser beam. Wish I could be there. Until next time, g’night. G’night jail.

  • 141 jimmysmith // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:10 PM

    To be honest, I don’t know that any of Lascelles, Dummett, or Good is even potentially genuine top third epl material, but they are certainly worth considering along with Mbemba as a decent Championship group of CB’s, preferably with the addition of an old head.

    Frankly, I think only Mbemba has shown himself really capable of being top shelf, but hopefully the others can also emerge this season and so we can then focus on recruiting only the one really top CB this time next year.

  • 142 G // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    Wheater was a player tipped as an England regular when younger, but his form stagnated badly, there were rumours that his heart was never in it, but they were only rumours, he might be worth the risk, but footballers are a supersticious lot, who will be thinking about how he gets relegated? I can see pros and cons on the lad, and its a sensible suggestion that we at least look at him.

  • 143 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    Goodnight, yeah looking forward to seeing what happens. The outs are going to be very interesting. Particularly Sissoko. He hasn’t done enough over the lat 2 years to earn the big move he craves, so would he move to another stepping stone, or would he knuckle down like Cabaye did and earn a big move in January?

  • 144 jimmysmith // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:18 PM

    It’s hard to imagine Rafa letting Collo go for a player like Wheater. In many ways retaining Collo for another year is very desirable, if of course he’s on board, which you’d clearly worry about. Benitez is ideally placed to judge that.

  • 145 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Mbemba has a lot of potential, but he is also far from the finished article. He cost us a lot of goals last season through naivety and poor positional awareness, but is young enough, and early enough in his career to improve and adapt.

    Lascelles has never been consistent, hence him spending a lot of time in and out of the Forest side.

    Dummett is a capable mid table centre half or lower to mid left back in the Prem.

    As I said earlier, I think Good is done, we should help him with his rehab and allow him to move on with our best wishes.

    Looking at it that way, a lot of work still to be done. Colo will go, and it is right he does given all that has gone on and age affecting his performances, but he is probably still our best and only proven centre half.

  • 146 Yo-yo // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:23 PM


    Sissoko hasn’t done enough at the Euros to up his fee much either

  • 147 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    I don’t think Wheater replaces Colo. I think another centre half would come in to replace Colo. A younger one who still has experience at this or a higher level. In my mind and thoughts when I mentioned him, he would be in addition, replacing Saylor or Willo.

  • 148 Yo-yo // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:25 PM


    I agree that Rafa is looking at players he can improve and I think that attitude and work rate over 95minutes is a big factor for him.

  • 149 Yo-yo // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    bobby sorry

  • 150 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:27 PM

    Nope, I can’t imagine anyone expected him to in all honesty. I expected a far more influential/productive performance from him against Iceland as he normally performs when on a stage in the shop window.

    If a club he wants to join comes in i’d imagine he will force it through, regardless of the clubs and Rafa’s public stance. If he does;t leave, I’d imagine it is more to do with a lack of interest than us digging our heals in. I do still think he is more likely to leave than not.

  • 151 jimmysmith // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    Yeah, it’s a problem position, but there is enough there already to work with and hopefully develop this season. Finding that good epl quality addition now is going to be tough, so I’d agree a good old head to replace the one who looks set to leave looks the best bet. I do think Collo fits the bill, but I’m clearly in the minority in thinking Rafa might prefer him to stay on.

  • 152 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:32 PM

  • 153 Lilongwe Geordie // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    I think attitude and work rate are a big factor for most managers. Smaller clubs will carry a very talented player (Le Tissier and Southampton at the time) because he makes the difference sufficiently to keep them ticking over. Big clubs will carry an exceptional talent (Man U with Cantona) as they have sufficient quality and work rate around him to succeed.

    Clubs who are aspiring to make it generally can’t afford to carry players because the majority of their players are that level below the top, and everyone needs to pitch in to help elevate the side.

  • 154 Jib // Jul 4, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    Colo is expectd back in Argentina tomorrow .
    He will be officially presented as a San Lorenzo player on Wednesday

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